British singer Lily Allen has apologised after her controversial tweets about the child victims the Rochdale grooming gangs. Allen said the victims would probably ‘have been raped or abused by somebody else’ if immigration was banned.
The 32-year-old singer said she was sorry to ‘any girls or women from Rochdale’ after making the comments. She had tweeted during a debate about sex gangs involving men of Asian descent.
It came after Twitter user ‘Tolerant Fellow’ asked her on 5 January: ‘Would those children have been raped if we hadn’t let those people come here?’
She replied: ‘Actually, there’s a strong possibility they would have been raped or abused by somebody else at some point. That’s kind of the issue.’
Ms Allen later said she was referring to how vulnerable children were targeted and let down by the authorities. However, critics called her stance ‘sick’, ‘crass’ and accused her of victim-blaming.
Twitter user ‘Jimmy the Weasel’ asked if Allen had ‘totally lost the plot’, adding: ‘Are you implying that they asked for it?’
One user posted: ‘Are you for real? This comment must rank as one of the worst I ever read on Twitter!’ While another simply tweeted: ‘Disgusting.’
Actress Lisa Moorish came to Ms Allen’s defence and said: ‘The girls were known vulnerables, and these girls sadly are most targeted by sex predators. So quite likely at some stage they would be, yes. Those are the stats.’
‘I stand by my comment’
Ms Allen said: ‘If there are any victims of abuse and particularly any girls or women from Rochdale who saw my tweet and were negatively impacted, I apologise, of course.’
She later added: ‘I was asked what would have happened to the girls if their abusers had never been let in to the UK. I stand by my comment.’
Allen was praised on 7 January by Labour MP Jess Philips. Philips tweeted it was ‘inspiring’ how she and fellow MP Stella Creasy ‘stood their ground’ on debates about rape and abuse.
The plight of child sex victims in Rochdale was dramatised in the BBC’s Three Girls, starring Maxine Peake.
Photo Credit: lilyallen